August 2, 2005

The ‘Wal-Mart Health Care Crisis’ Grows

The state of Arizona released new numbers showing Wal-Mart has over 2,700 employees and dependents, nearly 10% of its workforce in Arizona, receiving health care at the expense of Arizona taxpayers.

“”Everyday new numbers reveal the sad truth about Wal-Mart’s poor health insurance – Wal-Mart profits and the American taxpayers pay,”” said Paul Blank, campaign director for

Nationwide, Wal-Mart fails to provide company health insurance to more than half of its employees – that’s more than 600,000 Wal-Mart workers with no company health insurance.  Wal-Mart’s poor health care not only contributes to our nation’s health care crisis, it forces tens of thousands of their workers to rely on taxpayer funded public health care assistance.

Most outrageous is that Wal-Mart knows it has a problem, but, despite their $10 billion in profits, chooses to do nothing to address this serious issue. Just last week, the Arkansas Democratic Gazette reported Ray Bracy, Wal-Mart Vice-President for Federal and International Public Affairs, said Wal-Mart has “”a lot of people on state rolls. We wish it wasn’t so.””  Even Lee Scott, CEO of Wal-Mart, explained that the reason so many Wal-Mart workers were on public health care was that it was a “”better value”” than the health care coverage Wal-Mart, the #1 company in the Fortune 500, provides.

“”Wishful thinking is a poor excuse for failing to provide company health care to more than 600,000 workers,”” said Blank.  “”It is downright un-American for Wal-Mart to force taxpayers to foot their health care bill. It’s time for Wal-Mart to wake up and do the right thing.””